Share story

Two House bills would make it a felony to share over the Internet intimate images of another person to “cause serious emotional distress.”

Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden, and Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Anacortes, each introduced a bill Wednesday that would outlaw individuals from sharing sexually explicit photos or videos to humiliate a former partner, something known as “revenge porn.”

House Bills 2250 and 2257 would each make revenge porn a class C felony if the individual intends to “cause serious emotional distress, and that the depicted person suffers emotional distress.”

Class C offenders face up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

Both bills would cover photos taken with the subject’s consent but with the understanding that the photo should remain private.

Lawmakers in California and New Jersey have passed similar laws.

Both Washington bills have been referred to the House Public Safety Committee. Morris said he expects a hearing for his bill next week.

Detective David Blackmer, a 17-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department, was sentenced Jan. 8 to 90 days in jail for posting sexually explicit photos and videos of a former lover in retaliation for ending their extramarital affair. He was convicted of cyberstalking, a gross misdemeanor.

Seattle Times file information


Ashley Stewart:

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.